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The Top 10 Linux Distros You Never Heard About

Filed under
GNU
Linux
BSD

As I have mentioned in previous articles, the open-source community is littered with many distributions – some of which you might never get to hear about if you’re not connected to an affiliated party or happen to come across a reference ad.

Plus, it’s a new year and we have been dropping Top 10 (and sometimes higher) titles since it began so you shouldn’t be surprised that we are here with another one.

In case you missed it, we recently published an article on The Top 10 Linux Desktop Distros of 2017, and I thought it will be nice if we checked out a couple of distros that might not have made it to the limelight in 2017 but are still significant and will probably be of great use to our readers.

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OPNsense® 18.1 Release Candidate 1

Filed under
Security
BSD

For more than 3 years now, OPNsense is driving innovation through modularising and hardening the open source firewall, with simple and reliable firmware upgrades, multi-language support, HardenedBSD security, fast adoption of upstream software updates as well as clear and stable 2-Clause BSD licensing.

We humbly present to you the sum of another major iteration of the OPNsense firewall. Over the second half of 2017 well over 500 changes have made it into this first release candidate. Most notably, the firewall NAT rules have been reworked to be more flexible and usable via plugins, which is going to pave the way for subsequent API works on the core firewall functionality. For more details please find the attached list of changes below.

Meltdown and Spectre patches are currently being worked on in FreeBSD[1], but there is no reliable timeline. We will keep you up to date through the usual channels as more news become available. Hang in there!

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BSD: LLVM and OpenBSD

Filed under
BSD
  • LLVM Clang Is Moving Closer To Full OpenMP 4.5 Support

    While it took LLVM's Clang C/C++ compiler initially a long time to supporting OpenMP, the code continues to mature in supporting the latest updates to this parallel programming specification.

    As it stands now Clang has full support for OpenMP 3.1 and only partial support for OpenMP 4.5, but they continue moving closer to supporting OMP 4.5 on CPUs and eventually to NVIDIA GPUs with their CUDA back-end.

  • SPIR-V Support For Upstream LLVM Is Back To Being Discussed

    Next month the Vulkan 1.0 API will turn two years old but a goal that has remained elusive to date has been getting SPIR-V -- the intermediate representation shared by Vulkan and OpenCL -- into upstream LLVM.

    The goal would be upstream support for going between SPIR-V and LLVM IR. There's been various projects working on this SPIR-V and LLVM IR to/from translation support, but nothing has been upstreamed yet in LLVM itself for easier maintenance and focusing on a concerted effort.

  • OpenBSD-current now has 'smtpctl spf walk'

     

    This feature is still in need of testing, so please grab a snapshot and test!  

LinuxAndUbuntu Review Of TrueOS A Unix Based OS

Filed under
Reviews
BSD

Trust me, the name TrueOS takes me back to 1990s when Tru64 UNIX operating system made its presence. TrueOS is PC-BSD’s new unified brand built upon FreeBSD-CURRENT code base. Note that TrueOS is not a Linux distro but is BSD Unix.

​FreeBSD is known for its cutting-edge features, security, scalability, and ability to work both as a server and desktop operating system. TrueOS aims at having user-friendliness with the power of FreeBSD OS. Let us start with going into details of different aspects of the TrueOS.

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GhostBSD 11.1 - FreeBSD for the desktop

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Reviews
BSD

GhostBSD is a desktop oriented operating system which is based on FreeBSD. The project takes the FreeBSD operating system and adds a desktop environment, some popular applications, a graphical package manager and Linux binary compatibility. GhostBSD is available in two flavours, MATE and Xfce, and is currently available for 64-bit x86 computers exclusively. I downloaded the MATE edition which is available as a 2.3GB ISO file.

Booting from the installation media brings up a graphical login screen where we can sign into the live desktop environment using "ghostbsd" as the account name with no password. The live MATE desktop is presented with a two panel layout. At the top of the screen we find the Applications, Places and System menus. The top panel also plays host to the system tray. The bottom panel features a task switcher and a widget for switching between virtual desktops. On the desktop we find icons for launching the Caja file manager and the GhostBSD system installer. There is also an icon which launches the HexChat IRC client and automatically connects us with the project's chat room.

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LLVM: LLVMpipe and LLVM Clang 6.0 Benchmark

Filed under
Development
Graphics/Benchmarks
BSD
  • Even With An Intel Core i9 7980XE, LLVMpipe Is Still Slow

    During the recent holidays when running light on benchmarks to run, I was toying around with LLVMpipe in not having run this LLVM-accelerated software rasterizer in some time. I also ran some fresh tests of Intel's OpenSWR OpenGL software rasterizer that has also been living within Mesa.

    In showing the potential best case, an Intel Core i9 7980XE was used with its 18 cores / 36 threads configuration with 2.6GHz base frequency and 4.2GHz turbo for this ~$2,000 USD CPU with a 165 Watt TDP.

  • LLVM Clang 6.0 Benchmarks On AMD's EPYC Yield Some Performance Benefits

    With LLVM 6.0 being branched this week and that marking the end of feature development on this next compiler update before its stable debut in February, here are some benchmarks of the very latest LLVM Clang 6.0 compiler on AMD's EPYC 7601 32-core / 64-thread processor as we see how well the AMD Zen "znver1" tuning is working out.

CIB Introduced, LLVM Clang 6.0 Coming Soon

Filed under
Development
BSD
  • CIB: Getting The Clang Compiler To Run In A Web Browser

    CIB is a new hobby project getting the full-blown Clang C/C++ compiler to run within a web browser as a technical feat.

    Independent developer Todd Fleming has been working on "CIB" that is short for "Clang In Browser." This comes down to Clang itself being compiled to WebAssembly (WASM) for then running in web-browsers.

  • Features To Look Forward To With LLVM / Clang 6.0

    With the LLVM Clang 6.0 code branching and feature freeze coming up on 3 January, here's a recap of some of the most interesting new features and changes to find with the LLVM 6.0 compiler infrastructure and Clang 6.0 C/C++ front-end.

BSD: LLVM 6 is Near, NetBSD 7.1.1 Released

Filed under
BSD
  • LLVM 6.0 Is Being Branched In One Week, LLVM 7.0 Development To Begin

    LLVM release manager Hans Wennborg is moving ahead with plans to branch the LLVM 6.0 code and its components earlier than anticipated.

    In early December the LLVM 6.0 release proposal was laid out and it included branching two weeks earlier than is traditionally done, due to an unnamed large LLVM consumer of the code requesting the change to better align with that company's internal testing. So now the LLVM 6.0 branching will happen on 3 January, but it will be treated as a "slow start" with no release candidates coming for the first two weeks but developers can begin testing and nominating patches.

  • NetBSD 7.1.1 Released

    The first point release to NetBSD 7.1 is now available as this BSD operating system ends out 2017.

  • NetBSD 7.1.1 released

    The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 7.1.1, the first security/critical update of the NetBSD 7.1 release branch. It represents a selected subset of fixes deemed important for security or stability reasons.

    Complete source and binaries for NetBSD 7.1.1 are available for download at many sites around the world. A list of download sites providing FTP, AnonCVS, SUP, and other services may be found at https://www.NetBSD.org/mirrors/. We encourage users who wish to install via ISO or USB disk images to download via BitTorrent by using the torrent files supplied in the images area. A list of hashes for the NetBSD 7.1.1 distribution has been signed with the well-connected PGP key for the NetBSD Security Officer: https://ftp.NetBSD.org/pub/NetBSD/security/hashes/NetBSD-7.1.1_hashes.asc

FreeBSD Looks At Making Wayland Support Available By Default

Filed under
BSD

There's an active discussion this week about making Wayland support available by default on FreeBSD.

FreeBSD has working Wayland support -- well, assuming you have working Intel / Radeon graphics -- and do have Weston and some other Wayland components available via FreeBSD Ports. FreeBSD has offered working Wayland support that is "quite usable" for more than one year. But, it's not too easy to get going with Wayland on FreeBSD.

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FreeBSD-Based TrueOS 17.12 Released

Filed under
OS
BSD

The FreeBSD-based operating system TrueOS that's formerly known as PC-BSD has put out their last stable update of 2017.

TrueOS 17.12 is now available as the latest six-month stable update for this desktop-focused FreeBSD distribution that also offers a server flavor. TrueOS continues using OpenRC as its init system and this cycle they have continued improving their Qt5-based Lumina desktop environment, the Bhyve hypervisor is now supported in the TrueOS server install, improved removable device support, and more.

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More in Tux Machines

GNOME: GNOME Shell, Bug Tracking, GXml

  • How to Install GNOME Shell Extensions GUI / CLI
    GNOME Shell extensions are small and lightweight pieces of codes that enhance GNOME desktop’s functionality and improves the user experience. They are the equivalent of add-ons in your browser. For instance, you can have add-ons that download videos like IDM downloader or block annoying ads such as Adblocker. Similarly, GNOME extensions perform certain tasks e.g. Display weather and geolocation. One of the tools used to install and customize GNOME Shell extensions is the GNOME tweak tool. It comes pre-installed in the latest Linux distributions. This article we cover how to install GNOME Shell extensions from GUI and from the command line on various Linux distros.
  • Musings on bug trackers
    I love bugzilla, I really do. I’ve used it nearly my entire career in free software. I know it well, I like the command line tool integration. But I’ve never had a day in bugzilla where I managed to resolve/triage/close nearly 100 issues. I managed to do that today with our gitlab instance and I didn’t even mean to.
  • ABI stability for GXml
    I’m taking a deep travel across Vala code; trying to figure out how things work. With my resent work on abstract methods for compact classes, may I have an idea on how to provide ABI stability to GXml. GXml have lot of interfaces for DOM4, implemented in classes, like Gom* series. But they are a lot, so go for each and add annotations, like Gee did, to improve ABI, is a hard work.

More on Barcelona Moving to Free Software

  • Barcelona Aims To Oust Microsoft In Open Source Drive
    The city of Barcelona has embarked on an ambitious open source effort aimed at reducing its dependence on large proprietary software vendors such as Microsoft, including the replacement of both applications and operating systems.
  • Barcelona to ditch Microsoft software for open source software
    Barcelona, one of the most popular cities in the Europe is now switching to open-source software by replacing Microsoft Windows, Office and Exchange with Linux, Libre Office and Open Xchange respectively. The city council is already piloting the use of Ubuntu Linux desktops along with Mozilla Firefox as the default browser. With this move, Barcelona city is planning to save money over the years by reducing software/service licensing fees. They are also planning to hire new developers to write open-source software. The open-source product will also be made available to other Spanish municipalities and public bodies further afield allowing them the opportunity to save money on software licences.
  • Barcelona to ditch Microsoft in favour of open source Linux software
    Catalan capital Barcelona is planning to ditch proprietary software products from Microsoft in favour of free, open source alternatives such as Open-Xchange email. That’s according to a report by Spain's national paper El Pais, which reports that Barcelona plans to invest 70% of its annual software budget in open source this year.

OSS Leftovers

  • Open Source turns 20
    While open source software is ubiquitous, recognized across industries as a fundamental infrastructure component as well as a critical factor for driving innovation, the "open source" label was coined only 20 years ago. The concept of open source software - as opposed to free software or freeware - is credited to Netscape which, in January 1998, announced plans to release the source code of its proprietary browser, Navigator, under a license that would freely permit modification and redistribution. This code is today the basis for Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) regards that event as the point at which "software freedom extended its reach beyond the enthusiast community and began its ascent into the mainstream".
  • Coreboot 4.7 Released With 47 More Motherboards Supported, AMD Stoney Ridge
    Coreboot 4.7 is now available as the latest release of this free and open-source BIOS/UEFI replacement. Coreboot 4.7 is the latest tagged release for this project developed via Git. This release has initial support for AMD Stoney Ridge platforms, Intel ICH10 Southbridge support, Intel Denverton/Denverton-NS platform support, and initial work on supporting next-gen Intel Cannonlake platforms.
  • Thank you CUSEC!
    Last week, I spoke at CUSEC (Canadian Undergraduate Software Engineering Conference) in Montreal.   I really enjoy speaking with students and learning what they are working on.  They are the future of our industry!  I was so impressed by the level of organization and the kindness and thoughtfulness of the CUSEC organizing committee who were all students from various universities across Canada. I hope that you all are enjoying some much needed rest after your tremendous work in the months approaching the conference and last week.
  • Percona Announces Sneak Peek of Conference Breakout Sessions for Seventh Annual Percona Live Open Source Database Conference
  • The Universal Donor
    A few people reacted negatively to my article on why Public Domain software is broadly unsuitable for inclusion in a community open source project. Most argued that because public domain gave them the rights they need where they live (mostly the USA), I should not say it was wrong to use it. That demonstrates either parochialism or a misunderstanding of what public domain really means. It should not be used for the same reason code known to be subject to software patents should not be used — namely that only code that, to the best efforts possible, can be used by anyone, anywhere without the need to ask permission (e.g. by buying a patent license) or check it it’s needed (e.g. is that PD code PD here?) can be used in an open source project. Public domain fails the test for multiple reasons: global differences in copyright term, copyright as an unalienable moral rather than as a property right, and more. Yes, public domain may give you the rights you need. But in an open source project, it’s not enough for you to determine you personally have the rights you need. In order to function, every user and contributor of the project needs prior confidence they can use, improve and share the code, regardless of their location or the use to which they put it. That confidence also has to extend to their colleagues, customers and community as well.

Ubuntu: Ubuntu Core, Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase for 18.04, Lubuntu 17.04 EoL

  • Ubuntu Core: A secure open source OS for IoT
    Canonical's Ubuntu Core, a tiny, transactional version of the Ubuntu Linux OS for IoT devices, runs highly secure Linux application packages, known as "snaps," that can be upgraded remotely.
  • Introducing the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase for 18.04
    Ubuntu’s changed a lot in the last year, and everything is leading up to a really exciting event: the release of 18.04 LTS! This next version of Ubuntu will once again offer a stable foundation for countless humans who use computers for work, play, art, relaxation, and creation. Among the various visual refreshes of Ubuntu, it’s also time to go to the community and ask for the best wallpapers. And it’s also time to look for a new video and music file that will be waiting for Ubuntu users on the install media’s Examples folder, to reassure them that their video and sound drivers are quite operational. Long-term support releases like Ubuntu 18.04 LTS are very important, because they are downloaded and installed ten times more often than every single interim release combined. That means that the wallpapers, video, and music that are shipped will be seen ten times more than in other releases. So artists, select your best works. Ubuntu enthusiasts, spread the word about the contest as far and wide as you can. Everyone can help make this next LTS version of Ubuntu an amazing success.
  • Lubuntu 17.04 has reached End of Life
    The Lubuntu Team announces that as a non-LTS release, 17.04 has a 9-month support cycle and, as such, reached end of life on Saturday, January 13, 2018. Lubuntu will no longer provide bug fixes or security updates for 17.04, and we strongly recommend that you update to 17.10, which continues to be actively supported with security updates and select high-impact bug fixes.